Public Encouraged to consider same method to dispose of expired or unneeded prescription drugs
Doha, Qatar, 10 July 2019: Every year tonnes of medications are either poured down the sink or flushed down the toilet. Despite water treatment efforts, remnants from the drugs find their way into water systems causing ecological damage to aquatic flora, fauna and wildlife.
Sidra Medicine, Qatar’s specialist women’s and children’s hospital, has launched an environmentally conscious effort to dispose of narcotic pharmaceutical waste and leftover medications at its main hospital.
The approach undertaken at Sidra Medicine involves mixing the narcotic waste such as IV fluids, with cat litter or ground coffee. The combination of the cat litter or coffee, deactivates the narcotic components making it safer to dispose as regular waste.
Ms. Fathea Adheir, Director of Pharmacy Department at Sidra Medicine said: “As a healthcare provider, it is important that we play a key role in supporting the protection of our ecosystem and this means disposing of drugs and narcotic waste responsibly and without damage to our environment. Mixing narcotic waste with cat litter and coffee grounds, has become the norm in a lot of other countries. We are pleased that our recommendation to do the same at our hospital, was endorsed by Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health. We hope that other healthcare providers will be inspired to follow the same approach.”
“We also encourage the public not to store unneeded or expired prescription drugs. They should dispose of these drugs safely – to avoid abuse, accidental ingestion by children or pets or damage to the environment. It is recommended to consider the same disposal method of mixing the drugs with cat litter or ground coffee,” continued Ms. Adheir.
It is recommended to follow the below steps to dispose of unwanted or expired prescription drugs at home:
1 – Take the prescription drugs out of the original containers.
2 – Remove or conceal personal information and the prescription number from the empty medicine container by covering it with a permanent marker, duct tape or by scratching it off.
3 - Crush solid medicine or dissolve liquid medication in water before mixing it with cat litter or ground coffee.
4 - Put the mixture in a disposable container with a lid or in a sealable bag.
5 – Place the sealed container with the denatured drug mixture and the empty drug containers in the trash.
Read the Arabic press release here.
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